Monday, October 5, 2015

Celebrating Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Called a benchmark wine that “redrew the global Sauvignon Blanc map and rearranged a few boundaries in the world wine atlas”, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is a wine that needs little introduction. To say that I am a huge fan would be an understatement, and with the 2015 just released it is already my favourite spring tipple.
Applauded around the world since it exploded onto the European wine scene many years ago, Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc was once so hard to secure that even the sight of the calm greys and misty whites of its label caused a shiver of anticipation amongst fans of the wine everywhere. It was the wine that forged New Zealand's glittering ­reputation for sauvignon blanc with food reason,
Fast forward to October of this year and Cloudy Bay have launched their 2015 vintage on the 30th anniversary year of the famous vineyard. Back in 1985, Cloudy Bay captivated the wine world with its aromatic and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc, and there is much to celebrate given that thirty years on, they are launching their flagship wine’s 30th vintage.
Cloudy Bay invited myself and nine other VERY lucky media (that's me, Rosie Kelway and Amber Peebles in Blenheim, below) to their Blenheim property to taste, enjoy and celebrate the latest vintage, whilst honouring those past along the way. Thoughtful and luxurious activities included a wine matched lunch at the Bay of Many Coves Resort following a boat ride accompanied by a pod of dolphins, a viticulture tour by helicopter, a five course degustation at Cloudy Bay’s beautiful venue The Treehouse, a range tasting at Cloudy Bay’s Barrel Shed and more. It was a trip full of delight and revelation, and the opportunity to pick the brains of winemaker Tim Heath and viticulturist Jim White was beyond compare. In White’s words, “we simply cannot turn out a bad Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc”, and the pressure is on the entire team – and the terrain – to perform year in, year out. Cloudy Bay can only be produced in a specific part of the world, specific to a precise location within New Zealand, meaning every vintage is unique and scarce, and that is most definitely also key to its charm.
So to the new vintage – is 2015 in sticking with the winning formula or uniqueness, freshness and consummate drinkability? Well, with the 2015 season providing one of the driest summers on record and an official drought declared in Marlborough, the Cloudy Bay team watched the weather with baited breath, waiting for even a hint of rain. Just as they had, years before, they triumphed over the drought-like conditions of 1998 and 2001, and have succeeded in producing a fresh and vibrant 2015 Sauvignon Blanc “another excellent example of our 30-year history of premium wine,” says Heath. “The 2015 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is intense, concentrated and focused with mouth-watering acidity that gives structure and textural intrigue to the palate, it is a hallmark expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.”
Designed like its predecessors to be enjoyed with 36 months or less when  - to quote Tim Heath once again – “it’s doing its job”, the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is destined to be loved by fans of the brand young and old, and its freshness pretty damn evident for a 30-year-old brand. Here’s to another 30 year then, and keep up the incredible work, Cloudy Bay.


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